First Impression: SkinMedica Vitalize Peel

I recently visited CosmetiCare for a treatment that had me a little worried about the outcome: a Vitalize Peel.

My skin can be incredibly sensitive and I was once advised by an esthetician that I should refrain from doing anything too aggressive to my face because of the fragile capillaries and active areas of rosacea.

I met once again with Lisa McCoy who talked to me at length about what the Vitalize Peel could offer and what I should expect in the days after. I was really worried my face might end up red and raw but Lisa assured me I would probably only experience peeling similar to a sunburn. She showed me several before and after photographs, including ones of herself.

The purpose of the Vitalize Peel is to smooth fine lines, wrinkles and skin roughness.

Lisa had me hold a hand held fan during the procedure because the chemicals used do get warm and “sting” the skin. The process is three-step. First, the skin is prepped with Isopropyl Alcohol. Next is the peeling solution which is made up of Salicyclic Acid, Resorcinol, and Lactic Acid. The last step is Retinol. Lisa applied it to my entire face with exception to the eye area and to my décolleté.

My face felt tight for two days afterward. I started to see the skin get dry and lift on the night of day two. The third morning I woke to a full face of dry skin. Lisa advised that a soft peel was the goal and suggested using coconut oil all over at night and a SPF during the day.

The amount of peeling was more than I expected and had seen on other patient photographs. Additionally, I saw peeling around my eyes and down my neck even though the chemical wasn’t applied to those areas. The only area that didn’t peel was my décolleté but Lisa said that cell turnover is happening even though not visible.

Unfortunately my timing for doing the Vitalize Peel wasn’t great. I had several video projects to film that week and thought I wouldn’t be so dry. Luckily with a lot of makeup and great lighting, the peeling wasn’t totally obvious on camera but you can see the a little bit of dryness under my eyes and a flake of skin on my cheek in this picture from that week (four days out from the day I received the Vitalize Peel).

vitalize peel

The results post peel have been glorious. My face is baby soft and the fine lines on my forehead have smoothed out nicely. I have long struggled with one patch of extremely dry skin on my cheek and it is completely gone now. My makeup blends beautifully and my skin looks luminous. I wish I had seen better results on my décolleté.

The following week I was in front of the camera again for more videos and though still a little dry around the hair line, I thought my skin looked great.

cosmeticare vitalize peel

CosmetiCare is located at 1101 Bayside Drive, Ste. 100 in Corona Del Mar. (949) 537-2367

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I’ve been fortunate to be part of the CosmetiCare Moms ambassador program for several months now. This post is sponsored however all opinions are my own.

Botox Before and After – Eek!

Ok, I get it. Frown and laugh lines are a natural part of the aging process. However, this doesn’t mean I want to look tired and mad all the time. When I was in my early 20s, a very mature older woman told me I should start doing something about my crows feet (you know, those lines from smiling eyes). I was devastated. I was still a baby and maybe then a nightly eye cream would have been a nice addition to my skin care routine, but little did I know how this comment would have me forever scrutinizing my face.

I have had one very prominent groove between my eyes for as long as I can remember. When I was 28 years old, I remember talking to a co-worker about someday getting Botox. She waved off my concerns saying I was too young. Over the years, three other lines appeared. I’d dab on lotions and primers to help smooth things out but everyday my makeup would settle into these grooves and I would go threw my day with a permanent scowl.

I really started to consider Botox a few years ago but when I brought it up to some friends, I was almost shamed in considering the treatment. Why would you ever put a toxin in your face? 

Because I am not happy with the way I look.

It was as simple as that.

before botox

This photo was taken a few weeks before I joined on as a CosmetiCare Ambassador. For the last year, I have been working on Long Story Short and appearing in weekly videos on YouTube. I also was growing increasingly critical of how I looked. Call me vain but it made me unhappy.

botox 1

I knew that a Botox Cosmetic treatment was likely an option as a CosmetiCare ambassador and I was ready. Ok, maybe a little terrified. Not of needles because I have been through the medical ringer in the last seven years. Needles were nothing. However, I was worried about the possibility of something going horribly south. Like my eyebrows. Obviously, there is risk with everything and the lovely nurses at CosmetiCare walked me through the procedure and the aftercare.

botox 2

Those two parallel lines between my eyes were the biggest offenders. There are also four horizontal lines between my eyes and at the top of my nose from years and years of scrunching my nose when I smile. These are things you become keenly aware of when analyzing your face in mirror for 20 years.


The treatment was quick. Four itty bitty needle injections across my forehead above the eyebrows. My skin was raised a little at the injection site when I left but I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and no one looked at me like they knew what I had just done.

I thought the Botox treatment would be immediate. For two days I was able to scrunch up my face and make those frown lines, albeit not as easily but still managed. It was like I was testing the Botox. Did it work? It was about 3 or 4 days that I started to see things smooth out. Finally, my makeup wasn’t settling into those lines anymore and I looked refreshed. I did have what felt like a sinus headache for days after the treatment but it was mild and considered very normal amongst clients.

fresh face 2

It took me a few weeks to decide if I was pleased with the results from Botox. The Botox Cosmetic treatment had given me a little more lift in the eyebrow – normal per the CosmetiCare nurse – than I had expected. So, I wasn’t sure how much I liked that considering I was watching myself on YouTube being far more expressive with my eyebrows than I had before.

Yet when I see photos or video of myself post Botox, I am genuinely really happy with the way I look. Now, what should I do about those crows feet?

CosmetiCare is located at:
1101 Bayside Drive #100 Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
949.537.2178 Visit on Facebook or at

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

First Impression: HydraFacial MD

I have long struggled with my complexion.

As a teen on a quest for perfectly clear skin, I would obsessively scrub, tone and dab creams to minimize breakouts. My twenties saw too many days without sunscreen and a lot of nights without washing my makeup off. When I was pregnant with my daughter in my early 30s, I expected to glow from within but instead battled cystic acne. Now at 40 years old, I still find myself trying to manage some of these same skin issues plus dry skin and wrinkles.

A few years back, I met a wonderful facialist who encouraged me to view skin care as something that should require my full attention. I really thought I had been doing that already. No one spent more time in the mirror playing dermatologist than myself.

I recently had the opportunity to experience the HydraFacial MD treatment at CostmetiCare. Very simply, this treatment is highly effective at improving your overall skin health. It is also excellent for remedying congested pores, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, vibrancy, elasticity and firmness.

Upon arriving that morning, I consulted with medical esthetician, Lisa McCoy, about my skin concerns. I told her that the congested pores on my nose and chin were priority number one followed by the dry skin on my cheeks and forehead. Additionally, I pointed out an area on my face where I still often break out with cystic acne.

She quickly got to work with a gentle cleanser followed by the multi-step HyrdaFacial MD treatment process. She likened the procedure to a steam cleaning. She would infuse the good stuff while extracting the bad stuff.


Let me explain: the HydraFacial MD treatment begins with a serum to remove dead skin cells and uncovering healthy skin. Then a mixture of Glycolic and Salicylic Acids are applied to soften the skin in an effort to remove impurities. Next are extractions with a painless vortex-suction used to clean out congested pores. Finally, antioxidants, peptides and Hyaluronic Acid are infused to detoxify, protect and plump up the skin.

I loved several things about the HydraFacial MD treatment at CosmetiCare.

1. There is virtually no down time for this procedure. I skipped out of the med spa and went on with my day with absolutely vibrant skin.

2. Lisa was very knowledgable about the HydraFacial MD treatment and understood the complexities of my personal skin issues. She echoed the advice I had received from years ago about treating my skin as good or as well as I would treat the rest of my body.

3. I loved the way my skin looked afterwards and I felt fantastic. I knew that I was giving my skin the attention it needed.


I am thrilled to share that I have been selected to be part of the CosmetiCare Mom Ambassador program and I look forward to sharing my first impressions with the treatments I receive over the next few months!

CosmetiCare is located at:
1101 Bayside Drive #100 Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
949.537.2178 Visit on Facebook or at


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.